Spiritual Maturity

November 26, 2013

Spiritual Maturity

            Spiritual maturity has three ingredients; knowledge, convictions and love for God.  Each of these are virtues.  It is impossible to reach spiritual maturity without an adequate measure of these three ingredients.

We will never attain spiritual maturity being ignorant of spiritual truth.  Colossians 1:10 says we should be increasing in the knowledge of God.  “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  The longing of the Apostle Paul was “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” In order to be spiritually mature we need to have the mind of Christ. The better we know Christ, the better will we know how we should think.  I Corinthians 2:16 says that we can know the mind of Christ. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”  Before making a serious decision we should stop and ask, “What would Jesus have me do?”  The more we have the mind of Christ the better we can know what he would have us do.

We need to have our minds renewed in order to know the mind of Christ.  Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Biblical knowledge is also obtained by reading and studying the Bible.  We can say that the Bible is a revelation of the mind of God.  God is said to be infinite.  That means he is without limits.  For us, it’s impossible to know fully the mind of God.  We can only know it in general terms.  Isaiah 55:8-9 gives us a contrast between our finite minds and the mind of God.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Understanding how God thinks is a process.  That’s why Colossians 1:10 says “increasing in the knowledge of God.” That’s why it’s so important that we spend time every day reading and studying the Bible.  As we do so, throughout life, we will keep gaining more knowledge of God.

Some believers are negligent in the use of their mind.  There should never come a time when we think we know all we need to know.  We should keep learning all our life.  Some people have little self-discipline when it comes to reading and applying their mind.  Unless that is corrected, they will never attain any level of spiritual maturity.

The mature believer is firm in his doctrinal beliefs.  This depends on his Bible knowledge.  His beliefs may change as he gains more knowledge of what the Bible teaches.  Once he has gained that knowledge, he continues in it.  To obtain maturity in doctrinal beliefs, it is of extreme importance that we believe that the Bible was given by inspiration of God and that it must be literally interpreted.  Secondly, we must be convinced that the Bible teaches that man enters into the right relationship with God through the acceptance and application of the merits of Christ which he purchased for us when he died on the cross.

Now let’s proceed by giving consideration to the need of convictions which is another necessary ingredient of spiritual maturity.  A conviction is a firm belief in something.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The word “believe,” in that verse, means to believe to such an extent that you are willing to put your trust in it. This is saying that we must be thoroughly convinced about the existence of God.

If we have the conviction {the firm belief} that the Bible is the divine revelation of God, then it’s easier to have convictions about other things.  He who has convictions doesn’t waver when he is faced with a temptation.  He is convinced about what is right and wrong.  That means he has moral standards that he lives by.  He is also convinced that moral standards don’t change over time or according to the circumstances.  He takes his standards from God’s Word that doesn’t change because “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Spiritual maturity depends also on our relationship with God.  There needs to be a loving, personal relationship with him.  If not, what we do will be mechanical.  Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” If we love God, we won’t want to do things that aren’t pleasing to him.  If our relationship with him gets cold, it will be harder to resist temptation.  Therefore Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  We have much reason for loving God, even though we haven’t seen him.  I John 4:9 tells us that “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”  To maintain our relationship with God it is of extreme importance that we spend time with him every day, reading the Bible and in prayer.  When we realize that we have sinned, we need to confess it.  I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

A spiritually mature person is one who has stability.  He isn’t in eminent danger of falling into sin.  Jude 24 says, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”  He or she is also one we can lean on and trust in.  We need people like that to help us in times of anxiety in life. Are you that kind of person?  You can be by taking heed to what you have read in this article.

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